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It Costs Nearly $2 Million For A New York Couple To Raise A Child — Just Look At The Math


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If you're looking to save some money, New York Times writer Nadia Taha gives an easy solution: don't have children.

Taha wrote a long essay in today's Times called "Opting Out of Parenthood, With Finances in Mind," about why she is not having children.

Then, she broke down the math of the cost of raising a child, in dollars, on the Times' Bucks Blog.

Taha found that for her and her husband, the total cost of raising a child would be a shocking $2 million. The couple currently live in New York City, are in their late 20s, and earn slightly less than the average couple in the top third income bracket cited in the USDA study, she writes.

The Department of Agriculture publishes an annual report on what families spend on their children, but Taha tailored this to personal life. She also factored in the cost of college and supporting a child until age 25 (the Department of Agriculture's cutoff is 17).

Here's how she did her math:

  • Basic needs: She used the Agriculture Department’s figures for the cost of food, transit, clothing, and expenses such as personal care items, entertainment, and reading materials, for children in a two-parent household in the urban Northeast area of the country, with a combined income of more than $103,350.

  • Child care: Taha used the numbers for primary child care in New York City from birth until kindergarten. The cost ranged from $12,750 to $16,000, according to the Administration of Child Services. She then used the price for normal schooling grades 1 through 12.

  • Health insurance: To add a dependent to her plan would cost $4,000 more a year, plus another $750 for co-pays, prescriptions and other therapies.

  • College: "To pay for half of the projected tuition at an average-price four-year public university would require we save $5,328 each year from birth to age 18, according to BlackRock’s college savings calculator," she writes.

  • Post-grad: She then added housing, clothing, food, transportation, and healthcare for the child post-college, from ages 18 to 25.

  • Grandkids: Taha used a MetLife study of grandparents’ relationships with their grandchildren to factor that she and her husband would have to support their grandchildren with $8,289 every five years.

  • Wage losses: Taha calculates she'd lose $700,000 when factoring in maternity leave and studies showing that mothers just earn 73 percent of what men do.

Whether you agree or not, one thing is certain: having kids is expensive.

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